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Lakefront Brewery, INC. Black Friday Case Study

Lakefront Brewery, Inc. is a Milwaukee-based microbrewery that distributes its products to 35 states, Japan, Korea and Canada. For several years, Lakefront had traditionally held an informal day after Thanksgiving event at the brewery in which they extended their typical Friday tour hours. In 2012 they decided to make it an official event, which would include a one day, limited release beer to be sold exclusively at the brewery, aptly named Black Friday™.

Lakefront Brewery asked Boelter + Lincoln to help with the branding and promotion of both the event and beer in hopes of capitalizing on a market segment that is largely overlooked on this day.

  • Develop creative look and feel for packaging and collateral materials.
  • Create awareness and discussion leading up to event via social and traditional media platforms.
  • Garner day-of-event publicity for the brewery.
  • Sell 1,000 bottles of the limited release beer.
  • Develop print and social media “teaser” campaign: “PREPARE: 11.23.2012” with the full message paid off through a reveal ad and microsite a week prior to the event.
  • Seed event information into target media outlets


Black Friday bottle
  • Media coverage from local and national news and consumer interest outlets in print, online and televised media. Coverage included pre- and post- event stories on, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Fox 6 Milwaukee and NBC 15 in Madison.
  • By the time brewery opened its doors at 8:00 a.m. over 200 people had already line up, with some arriving as early as 4:00 a.m. to secure their spot.
22 oz. bottles sold: 0
within 90 minutes
  • Within 90 minutes the entire 1,200 22 oz. bottle stock of Black Friday was sold and bottles were reportedly selling on eBay for as much as $100
  • As a result of the campaign’s success, Lakefront Brewery partnered with B+L the following year with the goal of selling 5,000 22 oz. bottles. B+L secured coverage in nearly three dozen outlets within a two-week timeframe. Coverage was received nationally on, a variety of the top national beer outlets and websites, and local media, nearly quadrupling sales from 2012 as a result.